American space agency NASA has accepted a project made by a thirteen-year-old Dejan Lukic from Brod in Republika Srpska. The “nanosatellite” project will enable internet and mobile connections from 500 km altitude.
The project task states that Dejan is required to make the nanosatellite by May 2020, bearing all the costs, which NASA will launch into Earth`s orbit by the end of the same month.
Dejan Lukic is a grade-schooler who works with computers on his own since the age of 5. It all began with video games. His mother and grandfather have sparked his interests in computer science, physics and astronomy. His favorite books are about work and patents of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. The nanosatellite project brings a whole new dimension to his young life.
– The project is about a low Earth orbit communications satellite, standard Cubesat dimension of 10x10x10 centimeters. It is powered by solar panels that recharge its batteries. It communicates with other satellites in the higher orbit and sends the information back to Earth through those satellites, said Lukic.
When he passed the initial selection process out of 706 applicants, things got serious.
– Of course I had some doubts, even some negative thoughts but there were plenty of good ones too. Out of 706 those who applied, 36 were chosen for the next launch round, Lukic said.
His family didn`t take him seriously when he first announced his application project to NASA`s contest.
– It`s a bittersweet struggle for us, because the finances are an issue. The people got it wrong, that NASA paid for everything. They only paid the licensing and we have to bear the costs of making the satellite, Dijana Zdranja, the boy`s mother pointed out.
Dejan lives with his mother, grandmother and grandfather Milenko Zdranja, who is a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. They all have a new challenge.
- You have to lift up the satellite at 500km altitude. American Falcon rocket will carry it as a secondary cargo. Also, the satellite will have to orbit the planet at a certain speed. The required speed is high, around 1km per second.
Dejan doesn`t have the funds necessary for this undertaking. His mother is unemployed and his grandfather is a high-school teacher. The nanosatellite project doesn`t require a special lab but it does money. The mayor of Brod, Ilija Jovicic says that everyone needs to take interest in Dejan`s project because he represent both the city of Brod and Republika Srpska
– Therefore we will consider what it takes to realize young Dejan`s idea and how much money needs to be allocated to the project, Jovicic stated.